Counselors Corner

Crews Middle School Counseling Department

​Our counselors foster positive school culture and connectedness, and motivate students to be effective problem solvers. Problem-solving skills are essential to success in academics and in life. Research shows that students who feel connected to family, peers and school, are more likely to exhibit resilience when problems or disappointments arise. Boost your student’s resilience by encouraging them to come to school, meet a new friend, join a club, create a study group and explore his/her interests!

​What is a School Counselor?

​A school counselor is a certified, trained and caring professional who works with students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order that each student achieves academic and social success.

​Meet Our Counselors

​I am Elizabeth Butler, the counselor for 6th grade. This is my eighth year at Crews Middle School. I am a native of South Carolina, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and my Master of Education degree in Post-Secondary Counseling & Guidance from Clemson University (Go Tigers!!!). I completed my Education Specialist degree in K-12 Professional School Counseling at the University of Georgia. I have two children who attended Crews Middle and are now at Brookwood High School.  I am passionate about helping students and families have a positive and successful middle school experience. I welcome you to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Elizabeth Butler
Email: elizabeth_butler@gwinnett.k12.ga.us
Office Phone: 770-736-4156
Office located in Community C (6th grade hall)

My name is Tara Tanner and I work part-time as the seventh grade school counselor this year. This is my second year at Alton C. Crews Middle School, and my eighth year as a professional school counselor. I am a product of Gwinnett County Public Schools. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia State University. I earned my Master of Education and Education Specialist in School Counseling at the University of West Georgia. I am excited to work with you and your child to have a successful school year.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Tara Tanner
Email: tara_tanner@gwinnett.k12.ga.us
Office Phone: 770-736-8447
Office located in Community A (7th grade hall)

​Welcome to 8th grade at Alton C. Crews Middle School!  My name is Aprell Hamilton Taylor and I am the 8th grade counselor. This is my first year at Alton C. Crews Middle School and my twelfth year as a professional school counselor. I earned a Bachelor of Art in Early Childhood Education from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Science in School Counseling from University of Dayton and an Education Specialist in Professional Counseling and Supervision at the University of West Georgia. Eighth grade is an important transitional year and it is my hope that my previous experience as a 9th grade counselor will help make this transition a smooth one. I am excited to work with you and your child to have a successful school year.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.​
Aprell Hamilton-Taylor
Email: aprell_hamilton@gwinnett.k12.ga.us
Phone: 770-982-6940
Office located in Community B (8th grade hall)

​Mission & Beliefs

​The mission of GCPS school counselors is to assist in removing barriers to students’ academic achievements and to promote a safe and secure environment by providing developmentally appropriate counseling services based on best practices.

​Services Provided

School counseling services are delivered in four ways: (1) Classroom Core Curriculum Lessons (delivered to all students & based in the areas of personal/social, academic and career development), (2) Individual Student Planning (one-on-one assistance with goal formation/planning), (3) Responsive Services (brief counseling, crisis intervention, problem-solving, peer mediation) * If a student needs mental health counseling, we will refer the family to community counseling resources. (4) System Support (school-wide programming, consultation with school & community professionals, and support for students and their families).

Individual Counseling
Individual counseling sessions with students are initiated by referral from teachers, parents, administrators or peers. Students also self-refer.
Students use their agenda book as a pass to come to the counselor’s office. Counselors have an open-door policy. However, if a counselor is not in the office, students may complete a Note to the Counselor form and leave it under the door.  The counselor will schedule a time for the counseling session.
Sessions may include expressing feelings, problem-solving, designing plans of action, and academic counseling.
Follow-up is done as needed.

Small Group Counseling
Counselors organize and lead small group counseling sessions based on building resilience and providing support for students experiencing similar problems.  
Students can be recommended for small group counseling by administrators, teachers, parents, and through self-referrals.  Small group counseling sessions will be conducted for four to six sessions based on student needs and schedules.  The small groups for counseling will consist of 4 to 6 students.

Classroom Core Curriculum Lessons (formerly Classroom Guidance)
The following topics may be presented to each grade level through classroom lessons (delivered through Social Studies classes):
Counselor Introduction
Getting Along with Others / Bullying / Sexual Harassment
Career Awareness / Exploration & Soft Skills
High School 101 – Getting ready for high school (visit from BHS Peer Leaders)
Other topics as needed or requested by teachers

Counseling Crisis Situations
When a crisis occurs that impacts students or staff, counselors will provide classroom support or individual counseling.
Follow-up sessions will be done, if necessary, and counselor will meet privately with individual students as needed.

School Wide Programs
 Advisement - “Crews Kind”
No Place for Hate
Care Team (support for students with economic needs)

​Standards and Competencies

​Many competencies from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Mindsets and Behaviors directly align with Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy Standards and more broadly align with Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice. School counselors working in states that have not adopted the Common Core State Standards are encouraged to create competencies that align with their state's academic standards.Our standards and competencies fall into three categories (academic, personal/social, and career) and are divided by grade level.  Click the link below to learn more.

School Counselor FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

​1. Will my child be in trouble if he/she visits the school counselor?
No.  School Counselors are not disciplinarians! Our role is different from an administrative role and does not include issuing citations, referrals or any other discipline consequence.  Our primary role is to assist in removing barriers that may keep the student from being successful in the academic environment.  

2.  Will others know that my child is being seen by the counselor?  
School counselors take every precaution to protect the confidentiality of each student.  A student’s right to privacy and confidentiality is the basis for an effective counseling relationship. Confidentiality ensures that school counselors won’t share students’ disclosures with others (including teachers and other staff members) unless the student authorizes it or when there is a clear and present danger to the student and/or to other persons.

3. If the counselor sees my child, is this on the student's permanent record?
No information shared with the counselor is included in the permanent record.  Again, information is only shared with others when there is a clear and present danger to the student or other persons.  

4. If my child sees the school counselor, will I be contacted?
Many times parents initiate the referral process and may speak to the counselor before counseling sessions take place with the students.  However, parents are not called every time a counselor meets with a child.  And, should parents  be called in to meet with the school counselor in a collaborative effort to help the student, parents must also realize that confidentiality is the hallmark of a school counselor's’ work. When students enter into a counseling relationship, the school counselor will educate the student about the purposes, goals, techniques and rules of procedure under which they may receive counseling. As counseling with a student progresses, it may become beneficial or necessary for the school counselor to consult and collaborate with parents. It’s the school counselor’s responsibility to reach an agreement with the student about what information to share with the parents; unless, of course, there is a clear and imminent danger to the student or others.  While respecting the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians for their children, the school counselor works to establish a mutual relationship with parents/guardians to maximize a student’s development. In addition, school counselors respect students’ values and beliefs without imposing their own personal values on the situation.

5.  What are the limitations to confidentiality that parents should know about?
The limitations of confidentiality don’t include information of possible abuse or harm to a child. By law, school counselor must report any case of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.  

6. Can the school counselor provide therapy?  
While school counselors have specific training in regards to mental health issues, they are not intended to function as therapists.  The role of school counselors is to assist students with academic issues that may interfere with their academic success. School counselors are equipped to serve as liaisons with outside agencies and can consult with families about the steps to take to link to outside therapeutic services.  

7.  Will my child miss academic time when they see the school counselor?
While the school counselor makes every effort to protect academic time, it may occur that a student briefly misses academic time to meet with the counselor.  School counselors do their very best to prevent the counseling session from being a burden on the student academically.